Various Artists

e- 1999:1

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The Society for Electro-acoustic Music in Sweden launched its record label, Elektron, with e- 1999:1. This compilation CD culls works from three generations of Swedish composers, presenting a varied program of national treasures (Rune Lindblad, Anders Blomqvist) and names as yet unknown to the international public. All works date from the mid- to late '90s, except for Lindblad's "Optica II" (1960), the last of his experiments with optics and sound. Involving a score on film, photocells, and a tape recorder, this work remains 40 years later the strangest and most fascinating on this album. The other standout is Lidia Zielinska's "Schon Wieder Diese Weissen Mäuse" (1996), where water drops and rubbed glasses turn into the dizzying, half-real dream on an alcoholic. Palle Dahlstedt, by far the youngest composer presented here, offers the most formal piece. Opening the disc, his "Gummi" ("Rubber," 1994-1996) never really rises above the level of a study in form, lacking passion to drive the academic know-how. Patrik Thorell's "Ma" (1996) closes the program on a stronger note. His tape piece shifts between atmospheric settings to provide a narrative to Kyung Hye Lee's poem on conflicting desires and social facade. The other composers represented are Sten Hanson and Sten Olof Hellström. Both present convincing pieces of academic electro-acoustics, making this CD a satisfying listen.